School ball beauty: Get hot hair

JULIE ROULSTON
Last updated 05:00 24/05/2013

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It's your crowning glory - which is why it's so important to get your hair right for special events.

Kevin Hughes, global educator for Moroccanoil, was in New Zealand recently and he described hair as being "like a huge accessory you can't take off."

Your ball hair will make or break your look, and so it's worth putting in some time and experimenting before deciding on your 'do'.  

Use magazines and the web for inspiration, and take advice from a professional you trust (like your hairstylist). What suits you? What will work well with your dress?  Here are some ideas from Kevin Hughes, inspired by recent runway and red carpet looks...

FOR HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR

Use medium-sized hot rollers. Section the hair into moderate sized sections. Spray each section and THEN put the roller in. Let the rollers cool and then use a paddle or boar brush to brush the hair out, so that rather than a spirally curl you have a Veronica Lake-inspired wave. 

BRAIDING

Part hair in the middle and create two braids low on either side of the head. Make sure the crown and front of the hair is very smooth. Bring the braids over the top of the head and secure them at either side. Then brush the braids very gently to rough them up a little and create a strong textural contrast.

HOT HAIRBAND

Choose a hairband with a single, simple ornament. Tease volume into the top front of your hair, secure it at the back and do a casual twist and then secure. Pull the hair out a little from the crown and place a hairband between the front and the twist at the back.

GO FRENCH

If you struggle with your hair and don't know what to do, teach yourself to French braid (find a Youtube tutorial). When you have finished braiding, pull some little pieces out to rough the do up just a little - the trend right now is for hair not to look too perfect.

TOP TIP: BE PREP-HAIR-ED

It can be really helpful to stage your own private hair rehearsal to minimise stress on the night. Whether you start with clean hair or not will depend - if you intend to put your hair up then one- or even two-day-old hair will grip better.

Have all your tools laid out in front of you, you may need:

- Hairdryer

- Sectioning clips

- Heat protection spray

- Straighteners (but remember that poker straight is passé)

- Heated rollers

- Tongs

- Bobby pins

- Hair ties

- Hairpieces

- A texturising product

- Hairspray

- Gloss or glitter spray

- Hair accessories (headband, slide comb etc)

- Teasing comb

- Paddle brush, round brush, small brush for finishingh

- Mirror to view the back.

Just remember not to go overboard, says Kiwi hair guru Stephen Marr.

"The most beautiful hair has the best condition but it looks lived in, uncontrived," Marr says. "Sometimes for a formal occasion, women can get so het up about perfection that they no longer look themselves. You want something that feels beautiful, formal and elegant but still has a feeling of effortlessness as opposed to a look that is rigid and perfect."

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